tv [untitled] February 25, 2013 12:00pm-12:30pm PST
and before i be a slave i'll be buried in my grave and go home to my lord and be free (applause) >> thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. i'm al williams, president of the board of directors of san francisco african-american historical and cultural society. on behalf of the society and our co-presenters, the san francisco african-american chamber of commerce, the bayview ymca, senator mark leno's office, the san francisco public library, and the mayor's office of
neighborhood services, welcome to the 2013 black history month program. the 2013 black history month theme is "at the crossroads of freedom and equality, the emancipation proclamation and the march on washington." the society is the lineal descendant of the san francisco atheneum. it has been the only san francisco institution that is dedicated to documenting, preservinging and presenting true accounts of the history of people of african descent in san francisco. the society is a membership-based organization. without the hard work of our members and friends, the society wouldn't be able to present programs like today's kickoff. i'd like to take a moment here to thank members of our board of directors and the black history month committee who are here.
amongst the board of directors members we have here today are dr. bill hoskins, and please hold your applause until i finish the list because we want to give them all a round of thank you. our executive director, ellis joseph our treasurer and michael forks on the board of directors. the members of the planning committee are b.j. jones, lamont bishop, lance burton, trevor honeycut, melvyn phillips, eldoris cameron, dr. fanny preston wylie and peter fits simmons. the members of the committee -- let's give them all a round of applause for their hard work. (applause) >> i particularly wanted to do that at the front end of the day's program because we always get to the back end when we're rushing and rush out and don't have an opportunity to acknowledge the people who really have done the hard work.
as i mentioned, the society is a membership based institution that derives most of our operating revenue from membership dues f. you're not a member of the society, please join us or renew your membership today. i should note that anyone who joins or renews a membership today will receive a free autographed copy of our keynote speaker's new book, the title of which is martin's dream: my journey and the legacy of martin luther king, jr. we have a terrific program planned for you today. of course, the heart of the program will be our speaker, will be the remarks of our keynote speaker dr. claiborne parson. you have a program in front of you -- with you, and we will be following the program. we do have a number of members of the city's official family here with us today. the list of which i don't have and the number of community dignitaries. i see that we do have
supervisor scott wiener, supervisor president of the board of supervisors david chiu, president cisneros, barbara garcia is with us. naomi is going to be part of the program. naomi kelly is with us, kim brandon from the port commission is with us, and a number of others. i'll be getting a list, i'll be able to acknowledge others. i see police chief [speaker not understood] is with us. and as we get other names, we will announce those. so, let's give them all a round of applause, please. (applause) >> as i indicated, you have the program before you. we did one additional note on the program, is that the city administrator naomi kelly will be introducing the mayor lee. and due to scheduling conflict,
supervisor london breed will probably be arriving later and will make her welcoming remarks towards the end of the program. following the invocation by reverend harlan jones, nor a griffin will make a presentation, a dramatic presentation on the negro national anthem which will be followed by the singing of the negro national anthem. with that, i'd like to ask reverend jones if he would come forward for the invocation. (applause) >> let us bow our heads. unite our hearts in prayer. eternal god, creator of the world, sustainer of life and lord of history, thou art great and beyond our power to fully know or comprehend. so, god, we come today to give you thanks for both the ordinary and extraordinary mercies of our lives. we thank you for the gift of living in a city where the
richness and diversity of races and cultures is celebrated. and as we begin this celebration of african-american history month, we remember with fondness those who worked and sacrificed to make a life for themselves and their people. we remember those who marched, who sat in, who were jailed and who lost their lives that we might obtain in this nation of immigrants full person hood and full citizenship. we celebrate with joy notable african-american san francisco ans such as mary rodgers and howard thurman, danny glory, willie brown and now london breed who have given of themselves, that all people, black, white, yellow, brown and red might reach their full potential. almighty god, hear us as we lay our lives before you to be blessed. help us to know ourselves
through godly introspection, that in seeing ourselves as you see us, we may more readily revise and correct our lives. we know that you have made us one and all in your image. and, so, we pray that we will mirror you as we live our day to day lives. we are broken people living in a broken world, and we need you to help us to cope and mend our brokenness. we pray for those who have been pushed into the zone of desperation. we pray for those with illnesses that medical science cannot cure. we pray for those in whom hate has become malignant and those in whom hope has died. bless our fair city and its leadership. bless our governor, and give strength to our president barack obama. this is our prayer in jesus' name, amen.
amen. (applause) >> lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of liberty. let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies. let it resound loud as the rolling sea. sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us. sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us. facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on
till victory is won. stony the road we trod, bitter the chasening rod, felt in the day when hope unborn had died. yet with a steady beat has not our weary feet come to the place that our father's died. we have come over the way that with tears has been watered. we have come treading the path of the blood of the slaughtered. out of the gloomy past, till we now stand at last, with a white gleam of our bright star is past. god of our weary years, god of our silent tears, thou who has led us thus far on the way, thou who has by thy light led us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray.
lest our feet stray from the places our god where we met thee, lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee. shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand true to our god, true to our native land. will you please stand and join me in the singing of lift every voice and sing? ♪ lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring ring with the harmonies of liberty let our rejoicing rise
stony the road we trod bitter the chasening rod felt in the day when hope unborn had died yet with a steady beat have not our weary feet come to the place for which our fathers died we have come over a way that with tears has been watered we have come treading the [speaker not understood] of the slaughtered
lest our feet [speaker not understood] our god where we met thee lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand true to our god true to our native land (applause) >> thank you, nora. we've been joined by a number of other persons i'd like to welcome first to the podium.
i mentioned city administrator naomi kelly, supervisor malia cohen is with us and supervisor london breed, welcome. we also have in the audience with us karen roy is with us. we have karen roy. we have luis herrera, city librarian with us. mohammed naru who is the head of dpw. we have joanne white, the fire chief is with us. and linda richardson, commissioner linda richardson is with us. let's welcome them, please. (applause) >> okay. we have greetings now in the program. i think we will go ahead and move forward with the greetings from the supervisors and we will then be followed by city administrator kelly will introduce the mayor upon the mayor's arrival. so, with that i'd like to ask
supervisor cohen if you would come and extend greetings, please. >> thank you. amen, good morning, everyone. good afternoon. how are you? i have to say you look beautiful to look out and see so much red. this is an exciting time for all of us here in san francisco. and as i stand before you on this day, we celebrate black history month in san francisco. this is a day on which we acknowledge the being at the crossroads of equality and freedom. celebrating the emancipation proclamation as well as the march on washington, as well as the 100th birthday of our dear sister rosa parks. as our country continues to celebrate the beginning and as our country continues to celebrate the beginning of the second term of our great president, president barack obama. now, it's easy to take for granted the progress that we've made as a country because we
are forever looking to solve today's problems and as we continue to meet tomorrow's challenges as we shape our future. but what it is, it's definitely worthwhile to take a look back at the great works of our predecessor and the brave men and women who have paved the way for progress that we enjoy here in the 21st century. and if you look around, many of those men and women are right here with us in the rotunda today. we remember the people who braved police dogs and fire hoses turned against them by their own government officials in the south, people who believed that an idea -- believed in an idea that we're all created equal and that we're willing to risk and that we're willing to risk their life in the purchase soul of a lofty promise in america. today we celebrate black history month and the catalyst to progress that the emancipation proclamation as well as the march on washington provided us.
we are familiar with the incarnation, whether it's the work of gandhi, mother theresa, or nelson mandela, people who have carried the torch of love and equality into the dark caves of tyrany and emerged bloody, but unbowed, they are examples of love's true limitless potential. thank you. (applause) >> and even, and even in the face of institutional hatred, the legacy of their work is a beacon for the world that loves will triumphant at the end of the day. it's triumphant because love, brotherhood and togetherness bind us together as americans. it's who we are as america. it's in our dna and those who are not part of this plan, who are not part of our constitution will eventually be overrun by our collective
commitment to each other. but these victories, these victories are hard fought. these victories happened in a democracy out in the open. in the marketplace of ideas where thankfully what is good and what is right always prevails. we are thankful of this, sure. their injustice is and yes, they still persist. and they're present in our everyday lives. but thankfully they are treading down. slowly but surely being restricted to the fringe while the rest of us march on holding hands to our collective prosperity. and, so, here we are today gathered once again on an annual basis. we've come to celebrate black history month. and we are celebrating ourselves. we are celebrating ourselves for the transformations that we have gone through, our sacrifice, and our willingness to look ourselves in the
mirror, to transform ourselves into a better society, a better country and a better city. now today we stand on the shoulders of the great giants who came before us -- oh, that's my signal. [laughter] >> no respect. [laughter] >> fortunate for al williams i'm almost done. today we stand on the great shoulders of the folks that have come before us. and i wish you all a very happy and empowering black history month. i do have one piece of business that i'd like to share with you. on tuesday, i, along with the co-sponsorship of supervisor breed introduced a resolution celebrating the 100th birthday of sister rosa parks and commemorating the modern civil rights leader for her courageous and declaring -- for her courageousness and declaring february 4th rosa parks day in san francisco. (applause)
>> i thought you might like that. i'm done. thank you. [laughter] >> thank you. supervisor. and now there are a couple other people, sheriff mirkarimi has joined us. [speaker not understood] is in the room with us as well. reverend amos brown is with us. welcome. (applause) >> now supervisor breed will bring us brief remarks. >> hi, everybody. (applause) >> so happy to see all your smiling faces in the audience. happy black history month. i bring you greetings on behalf of district 5 in our great city. thank you, mr. mayor, for opening up city hall to my colleague, supervisor cohen, and my distinguished colleagues sitting here in the front row on the board of supervisors. it's truly an honor to stand before you on such a great
month. recent -- yesterday congresswoman barbara lee talked about dr. martin luther king and his dream and some of the issues that we were dealing with over 40 years ago are some of the same issues that we are dealing with today. and i'm so honored to have dr. claiborne carson here today to talk to us about some of those issues. he is unmatched in terms of his expertise about dr. king and has made sure that his dream and his words and the education that we have from dr. king stays alive for generations to come. so, this is truly an amazing event today. dr. king in 1967 asked, where do we go from here? and today we're still asking that same question. where do we go from here? well, we still have people suffering in our community, people in the african-american community. where do we go from here when we have lost numbers of african
americans in san francisco? where do we go from here? well, i'll tell you where we go from here. (applause) >> we change policy of the city. we change policy, and we start to be progressive, truly progressive about the policies we push to make african americans feel welcomed in this city. so, where do we go from here? we start to make aggressive efforts to educate our young people. we take ownership of our community. we take ownership of our children. we support each other instead of pointing the finger. where do we go from here? (applause) >> there is much work to do. as supervisor cohen and i cannot do it alone, we need your support. we need your encouragement. so, as we celebrate black history month, we need to reflect and understand and appreciate our history. it is a rich history, one that has made san francisco a great city. it is our time to shape the course of history as we speak by making a change in our great